News

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR NEW DESIGNATED EMPHASIS STUDENTS

The Program in Critical Theory is delighted to welcome 12 new students to the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory. The new cohort includes graduate students from Berkeley departments in the social sciences and humanities. These new admits bring the total number of Critical Theory DE students to 101.

  • Doaa Atamna, Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures
  • Annabel Barry, English
  • Tommaso Bernardini, Ancient Greek and Roman Studies
  • Katie Coyne, Philosophy
  • Rumur Dowling, English
  • Yvonne Lin, Chinese
  • Robin Manley, Rhetoric
  • Tom Maude-Griffin, Comparative Literature
  • Jonathan Pérez, Education
  • Miles Taylor, Film & Media
  • Sidney To, English
  • Finn Turner, French

Congratulations, all!

Congratulations to the Program’s Recent Graduates

Congratulations to the Program’s most recent graduates! Now in its twelfth year, the Program in Critical Theory enrollment has grown to 99 active students with 73 affiliated faculty. To date, 74 UC Berkeley PhDs have earned a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory.

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The Program in Critical Theory Dissertation Fellowship

Application Deadline:
Friday, April 29, 2022

The Critical Theory Dissertation Fellowship is awarded to UC Berkeley Critical Theory Designated Emphasis (DE) graduate students with records of achievement and promising dissertation projects. The fellowships support students writing their dissertations, providing full fee remission (where required) and a full stipend, usually for a semester.

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GRADUATE STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Thiti Jamkajornkeiat

Thiti Jamkajornkeiat is a PhD candidate in South and Southeast Asian Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory at UC Berkeley. His doctoral research investigates anti-capitalist praxis, decolonization, and leftist internationalism in post-war Indonesia with an endeavor to conceptualize Marxism from the periphery.

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GRADUATE STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Jaeyoon Park

Jaeyoon Park is a PhD candidate in Political Science with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory. His dissertation charts the transformation of scholarly and popular discourse on addiction in the United States over the past half-century. Working with texts ranging from scientific articles and diagnostic manuals to 12-step handbooks, it explores how addiction has been reimagined as a normal feature of human experience in our time. In Fall 2022, Jaeyoon will join the political science faculty at Amherst College.

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Online “Visiting Days” CT Welcome Event for Prospective Berkeley PhD Students

UC Berkeley’s interdisciplinary Program in Critical Theory will hold its annual “Critical Theory Program Welcome” for visiting PhD admittees (prospective Berkeley doctoral students) on Monday, March 14, from 12-1 pm via Zoom. Please register here.

All current CT students and faculty are invited to attend. Over the years, similar “Welcome and Information” events have made a real difference for students deciding whether to do their doctoral work at Berkeley. The gathering will allow for CT Program faculty, staff, and current students to speak with admittees, conveying to them what the DE in Critical Theory is and responding to questions the doctoral-program admittees may have. Please attend this brief event—even if you can only drop in for a few minutes.

DESIGNATED EMPHASIS APPLICATION DEADLINE, March 17

Applications to the DE in Critical Theory are due Thursday, March 17, by 4 pm. All students enrolled in PhD programs at UC Berkeley who have not already taken the QE are eligible to apply. To learn more about the application process and access application forms, please visit the academics webpage.

Join the Program in Critical Theory faculty and students for the Designated Emphasis Open House on February 22 for a panel discussion and Q&A about the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory. All UC Berkeley PhD students interested in applying to the DE are invited to attend.

Please direct any questions to critical_theory@berkeley.edu

DESIGNATED EMPHASIS OPEN HOUSE

Tuesday, February 22, 5:30 pm
330 Wheeler

Join The Program in Critical Theory’s faculty and students for a panel discussion and Q&A about the Designated Emphasis (DE) in Critical Theory. All UC Berkeley PhD students interested in applying to the DE are invited to attend.

Serving nearly 100 graduate students from the humanities, social sciences, law, and public health, the DE enables graduate students already enrolled in UC Berkeley PhD programs to obtain certification of a Designated Emphasis specialization in Critical Theory. The DE offers courses on the nineteenth-century notion of critique—including the historically distinct modalities of Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Marx, and others; on the Frankfurt School and other twentieth-century currents of critical theory and philosophy; and on contemporary forms and modes of critical theory, including critical race theory, postcolonial theory, feminist critique, gender studies and queer theory, and the diverse approaches to critique arising with and after structuralism and poststructuralism. The DE emphasizes the centrality of theoretical critique in the examination of contemporary values, of the power relations that constrain and enable political, social, cultural, and economic life, and of the modes of justification that legitimate historical and cultural inquiry and sociopolitical analysis.

Applications to the DE in Critical Theory are due Thursday, March 17, 2022 by 4 pm. All students enrolled in PhD programs at UC Berkeley who have not already taken the QE are eligible to apply. To learn more about the application process and access application forms, please visit the academics webpage.

Please direct any questions to critical_theory@berkeley.edu.

CT Faculty Announce Spring 2022 DE Courses

CT faculty will be teaching eighteen spring 2022 courses that count towards the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory. These courses reflect the interdisciplinary breadth of the Program, with core and elective options in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Education, English, Ethnic Studies, Film, German, History of Art, Philosophy, Rhetoric, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Sociology, and Spanish.

For more information on spring courses, full course descriptions, and the curricular requirements of the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory, please visit our Courses page.

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Congratulations to the Program’s Recent Graduates

Congratulations to the Program’s most recent graduates! The Program in Critical Theory has grown to 99 active students with 73 affiliated faculty. To date, 67 UC Berkeley PhDs have earned a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory.

Matthew Gonzales (Spring 2021)
PhD in Comparative Literature
DE in Critical Theory

Ian Steele (Spring 2021)
PhD in Anthropology
DE in Critical Theory

Jianqing Chen (Summer 2021)
PhD in Film and Media
DE in Critical Theory

Jessica Ruffin (Summer 2021)
PhD in Film and Media
DE in Critical Theory

Elisa Russian (Summer 2021)
PhD in Italian Studies
DE in Critical Theory


The Program in Critical Theory Welcomes Visiting Scholar Lucie K. Mercier

Lucie K. Mercier is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Philosophy. Prior to coming to UC Berkeley (2021–22), she was a Research Fellow and Lecturer at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University, London (2016–19) where she obtained her PhD in 2016, as well as a visiting scholar at the University of Paris 8 (2020–21). Her research addresses the ways in which questions of race and coloniality interfere with the concepts, models and practices of philosophy and challenge the history of philosophy as a discipline.

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Message from the Director

Dear friends and colleagues,

As we reflect now on the 2020–2021 academic year and look forward to the future, we want to thank all those in our community for their—for your—dedication to the ongoing study and practice of Critical Theory. In an extraordinarily challenging year marked by political, social, and economic crises, we continued to come together and support each other, and most importantly to persist in the critical examination of the structures and relations shaping and changing our world, past and present.

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CT Faculty Announce Fall 2021 DE Courses

CT faculty will be teaching twelve fall 2021 courses that count towards the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory. These courses reflect the interdisciplinary breadth of the Program, with core and elective options in Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Education, English, Gender & Women’s Studies, Geography, German, History, Law, and Philosophy.

For more information on fall courses, full course descriptions, and the curricular requirements of the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory, please visit our Courses page.

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DISSERTATION AWARDS SUPPORT GRADUATE RESEARCH

The Program in Critical Theory will support seven Designated Emphasis students’ dissertation projects in 2021–2022. Brent Eng and Pedro Javier Rolón Machado will receive semester-long Critical Theory Dissertation Fellowships, while Wendi Bootes, Alfonso Fierro, Thiti Jamkajornkeiat, Lubna Safi, and Camila YaDeau will receive Critical Theory Research Grants.

Support for this year’s awardees is generously provided by the Magistretti Graduate Fellowship Fund through the Division of Arts and Humanities, the Class of 1936 First Professor of Political Science, the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the generosity of many other colleagues and friends.

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